All of these records are due to be released in 2016. Yes, that 2016. While fending off a sudden flurry of lawsuits, and getting my mysteriously-slashed tires replaced (looking at you, Brownstein -- and eagerly awaiting your forthcoming The Complete Old Navy Commercial Sessions), I managed to absorb these records in order to secrete the following:
Fruit of the Loom presents Lute Of The Froom -- Mitchell Froom
In one of the more appalling sellout moves in recent memory, veteran producer Froom has assembled this all-lute album with the corporate underwriting of Big Underwear. Skull-crushingly benign vocals are accompanied by the kind of lute-centric hooks that make you thoughtfully place your hand on your chin, reflectively sigh "Mmm. Pensive," fondle your wool sweater, and take a warm sip of fuck. Joined by fellow producer Jon Brion on the tracks "Nothing Says 'Cutesy' Like Clinky Percussion" and "Some Mellotron Will Really Winsome Up The Joint."
Complete Upper Mesosphere Tapes -- Bob Dylan and the Band
After getting back to their roots on The Basement Tapes, Dylan and the Band tunneled 200 miles into the Earth's crust. None of the songs on this set can be heard without the ocean drilling platform and drill pipe currently in use by the US Geological Survey, with assistance from Greil Marcus, and presently being transferred to wooden discs only playable with the sharpened bones of Ulysses S. Grant. You'll have to take Marcus' word for it that "this collection is, by definition, the deepest music ever produced. Also, something something America something probably a mule something."
Caravans Awry: A Salute To Santana -- various artists
A seven-hour field recording of Guitar Center customers trying to work out "Black Magic Woman." Either that, or a urinal cake has become sentient and made an album. Released on 5 cassettes and 10 thematically-sequenced frozen waffles.
The NPR Teeny Cupboard Concert -- Gürglefück
Maintaining their spotless record of "authenticity," "the dynamism of muted beige," and "pointlessness," NPR stuffed this 8-piece metal band into a cupboard where their usual screeching heaviness was replaced by frantic knocking as their oxygen ran out. Available as a lint-free cloth.
We've Been Releasing Half-Assed Rehearsal Tapes This Whole Time -- The Smudgy Four
Aloofcore pioneers pull back the curtain on their intentions. Perfect if you would rather hear a violin be plaintively gazed at than played, or if you take personal offense at the slightest hint of effort. The ideal background music to other background music. Currently in the middle of their 6-month residency at the Outback Steakhouse on that road, you know, the one by that mall, no, the other mall, shit, we're lost.
Infinity? More Like OUTfinity, Am I Right? -- The Jeffrey Stanley Gelatination
Instantaneous follow-up to his epically epic recording of an epic on Epic, tenor sax leviathan Stanley's latest release is nine years long. I started listening to it tomorrow and finished 30 seconds ago. Stanley's is the only PR firm to offer rips in the space-time continuum in lieu of promo copies. The compositions build on the increasingly vital "Oh, this restaurant has a little jazz combo? Huh" sensibility currently sweeping the nation. Available only as a collection of flexidiscs included with successive issues of Grit magazine.
Performance notes: I managed to score a ticket to see Jennifer And Her Harp last weekend, but unfortunately, the show was ruined when a single hair from an audience member fell onto the venue floor, drowning out the music, and causing Jennifer to angrily waft off stage.